Finding a fair price or market value for a motor home is important no matter if you are the buyer or the seller. Buyers want to be sure they are getting quality products and not being taken advantage of. Sellers want to make sure they get the most value possible out of their property. Determining the fair value of a recreational vehicle, or RV, may be a little more difficult for an RV than it is for most vehicles, simply because of the many options an RV may have. Still, following some simple steps can help.
Determine what the fuel source is. This can be a very important part of the process since most RVs are categorised by not only their size, but their fuel source. Generally, the two most common choices are gasoline and diesel fuel.
Note any options or improvements. RV owners are often proud of their vehicles and make substantial improvements, with new generators or other systems which may not be readily apparent and may add to the value of the unit.
Look up the National Automobile Dealers Association Blue Book Value in print or online (see resources below). This is one of the most respected secondary vehicle valuation sources and is used by both buyers and sellers. While no one source can be comprehensive and cover all situations, this one comes close.
Check the selling prices of similar models. PPL Motor Homes and eBay are recommended as places to find fair prices for RVs (see reference 1). Both of these web sites list the selling prices of the various RVs that have recently been sold, thus making it easier for the buyer and sell to do a quick comparison.
Always check more than one unit when buying a motor home. It could be the buyer or seller got a great deal on an individual transaction, but that may not carry over to the general public and most buyers or sellers cannot expect such exceptions to be readily available.
Negotiate for the best price, whether you are considering buying a used or new RV (see reference 2). Even for new vehicles, the dealer profit margin may be as high as 30 per cent when selling a motor home. Many dealers may be willing to accept substantially less than that if it means an easy sale to a qualified buyer.
For those looking at a new RV, instead of the NADA, consider using the RV Consumer Group Ratings (RVCG), which is available by CD-ROM (see reference 1). Assume the book value is a negotiating starting point, not an ending point.
Always have the vehicle checked by a mechanic prior to any purchase.